Review of RAREC by Nina Cristiano

on 17/04/2018

A Jungle Oasis

Where to even begin?

I have spent a total of 2 months volunteering at this incredible animal rescue center, and it was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I have yet come to encounter. Since day 1, I was welcomed with open arms, and soon became a part of the incredible family.

To start with the location...being in the middle Peruvian Amazon, surrounded by trees and a beautiful lagoon with blue skies all day long is most definitely motivating. I left with countless pictures, each one remaining different. The beauty of this environment - the sound of the trees, the frogs croaking and the animals in the distance becomes your second nature.

I was always incredibly taken care of - for whatever question, concern, or need you may have, the wonderful owners (Kathya and Jairo) and other staff members always have the answer. Coming from far away, I immediately felt right at home, surrounded by a great people. The city of Iquitos is just an hour away so everything is easy access if needed.

The work being done in this center is beyond incredible. A typical day at the center for volunteers includes preparing and feeding twice a day for the animals (monkeys, ocelot, tapir and manatees); constructing animal enrichment games for the animals; analyzing the behavior of an assigned animal; cleaning the enclosures; and assisting with any additional work to be done. There is also a butterfly house that needs assistance. This is followed by relaxed evenings in the common area either playing games, eating delicious food or perhaps even watching a movie as a group (I was a fan of Game of Thrones).

Throughout my time, I have learnt more than I could have imagined. Being at one with the animals, you develop a sense of understanding for behavior and receive first hand experience. At times, there are also tasks that involve: collecting fece samples; administer a throat swab sample; administer an injection. These experiences are also perfect for an aspiring biologist. As vets come to visit on a weekly basis, I have come to learn so much about the physiology of the animals you are working with.

As for the people. I can honestly say that I have left my Peruvian family. Between the owners, the staff, Irasema (the cook) and the workers, I have never loved the working environment more. I miss the laughs, jokes and constant experience we shared with one another. A special shout out to the cook and workers who made me smile every day. Everyone is so incredible, and made me constantly happy. Not to mention, the food is incredible!

I would 100% recommend this place to anyone - whether you're interested in studying biology, study biology, love animals or simply want to volunteer. This place will leave you with unforgettable memories and a full heart. It was a perfect place to get experience for my university course: Wildlife Conservation.

Go visit this little hidden secret... an oasis I like to call it.